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Keeping audiences hooked: Playing the curiosity card to promote films

From Shivaay, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil to many more, filmmakers are now coming up with new marketing tactics to get the audience’s attention before their films are released.

bollywood Updated: Nov 05, 2016 09:35 IST
Yashika Mathur
Yashika Mathur
Hindustan Times
Dear Zindagi,Shivaay,Vikramaditya Motwane
Actor Ajay Devgn in a still from the film Shivaay.

Releasing only teasers for their upcoming films, or the poster without the film’s title or bringing back the old style of long, well-cut trailers — looks like Bollywood is now focused on keeping the audience curious before the release of a film.

Filmmaker Gauri Shinde’s next starring Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt will not release any trailers. There will only be teasers. Filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane released the poster of his next starring actor Rajkummar Rao, without the title of the film.Hrithik Roshan’s next film, Kaabil, too released the film’s poster without any mention of the title.

“I think people are talking about this. It has created buzz among audience and this is exactly what we are looking for. Discussions are still on for the permanent title of the film and Trapped is just a tentative one. Not many people knew about the film being made but releasing the poster without the film created the kind of news we wanted for the product,” says Rao.

Director Nitesh Tiwari’s next Dangal’s trailer is an unusually long but well-cut trailer.

Talking behind the idea of releasing only teasers for her upcoming film, Shinde says, “I have felt that we say everything in a trailer and earlier there used to be curiosity when people went to the theatres. Now everyone wants to know everything from a trailer and there is no mystery left. That itself for me is a turn off from my point of view. All stories are told in the trailer. This was Shah Rukh’s thought and we discussed that we will try this by creating interest by giving people sneak peek to the audience. If people are interested, they will come and experience the film.”

The trailer of the recently-released Shivaay was 3 min and 50 seconds long. Filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari’s next starring Aamir Khan has also 3 min 25 seconds long trailer. While the trend of long trailers was long gone, this tactic now seems to be working for the films.

“When we set out to cut the trailer, the only thing we kept in mind was the impact it would have. We wanted to create something we were really happy with. Something that would give people a glimpse of the world we created and get them excited about it, without worrying about anything else. It was only after we were very happy with the trailer did we realise that it was above three minutes but then cutting anything out to fit meant diluting the impact. So, we went ahead with the conviction rather than convention,” says Tiwari.

Actor Hrithik Roshan’s film Kaabil’s first poster was launched without the title of the film on it.

Trade analyst Omar Qureshi says going against the tide is the need of the hour. “I think it has always been the case. Just that now people have become more innovative and stylish. Now we have fine cutting tools, great editing machines and good brains and keeping this in mind curiosity is the big thing. Filmmakers want to keep some cards close to the chest and they need to go against the tide,” says Qureshi.

First Published: Nov 05, 2016 09:35 IST